DeCaro can be title winning shot-stopper

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STEELERS’ new goalie has received a seal of approval from one of his predecessors.

Wayne Cowley, a standard bearer for import goalies during his spell with Sheffield, closely watched John DeCaro in the Cardiff Devils friendly game at the Arena last Saturday.

Canadian Cowley, who retired six years ago and is now aged 46, said: “I like the look of DeCaro, you can see he has played at a good standard and has what it takes to win titles. As a goalie you look for little things, like positioning, whether he is square on and so on.

“He is a big lad (6ft 3ins) and he makes the shooter decide first, he gives them little to shoot at and he’s patient, he ‘waits the shooter out’ so his opponent has to decide what to do. He doesn’t guess which makes life easier for the forward.”

Cowley said there was no sign of panic in the American when the shots started flying in the Devils’ friendly. “He looked calm and in control, that gives the defence confidence in front of him. The last thing they need to see is a goalie flapping around. If he remains like that the Steelers have a good one and as we all know a good goalie that gives his team a chance to win every night is what every championship team needs. Ryan Finnerty has recruited well.”

Looking back at last weekend’s Festival of Hockey, Cowley reflected: “I had a blast. It was great to catch up with other members of the ‘96 Grand Slam side. The club did an amazing and very special thing last weekend, it’s what sets them out from many other organisations.”

DeCaro, 28, who is from Marysville, in Washington, joined Steelers from Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs in the Central Hockey League.

Finnerty said: “John had a big time zone change and a long journey to cope with when he got here and felt a bit jet lagged for a couple of days. But I liked what he has shown already, and if he is capable of doing even better that’s great.”

Ex Steeler Derek Campbell received a match penalty for spearing in Tuesday’s 5-5 tie with Sheffield Steeldogs.